Love at first sight is real.
September nineteen-eighty, early morning, still life drawing class. I was sixteen.
Allan was standing with some other jock sophomores, leaning against the flat files used to store our drawings. He had his fingers shoved into the pants of his tight jeans. He wore a clinging baseball jersey with red sleeves.
He was smiling.
His smile was broad, stretching between his full cheeks.
His dirty blonde hair was wavy and long on top.
I could draw you a picture of how he looked in that moment, so imprinted is it in my memory.
We didn’t have many opportunities to talk initially, as we were in different classes. He already had a circle of friends, and I was just beginning to meet people at this new school.
One day he mentioned that he needed a ride home. I volunteered to drive him. Soon we were commuting together. I would pick him up in the mornings, and take him home in the afternoons.
During that drive, for about an hour every day, we were alone together. And during those drives, talking and singing along to the early Beatles, we fell in love.
I was sixteen, he was fifteen.
We didn’t talk much at first. I was a little nervous about his beauty and my attraction to him. He was shy, he would later tell me, because he thought I was one of the smart kids—what if I thought he was dumb?
This was before Allan came to realize how smart he was. He developed into a philosopher of sorts; there was nothing he couldn’t talk about until sunrise, thinking through every angle, every permutation, of the most abstract ideas.
But at fifteen, he was still unaware of his uniqueness.
He lived alone with his mom and her mother. To pick him up for school, I would pull up outside his building, honk my horn, and wait for him. If he took too long, I would get out to hurry him along.
One morning, I went to fetch him. He opened the door nude.
His mother and grandmother were gone.
He apologized for being late, saying he just woke up. He needed to iron a shirt and he’d be ready to go. Come sit in my room while I get ready.
I sat on his bed as he ironed. I tried to avert my eyes. The room was a mess, scattered with clothes and junk. He had a smooth body, naturally muscular, still growing out of his baby fat. His small patch of pubic hair was blondish, kind of salt and pepper. His cock was . . .
I couldn’t get over the fact that he was nude, right there, in front of me. My heart was racing.
He sat on the bed next to me.
He kissed me. He kissed me!
He asked me to take off my clothes.
I had never touched a boy. Neither had he.
I undressed and we kissed. I held him close, feeling his hard cock against mine.
I didn’t know what to do with my hands. I didn’t know what to do with my desire. I only knew I wanted all of him, now, before this moment was taken away.
This might never happen again. How was it happening now?
He took my cock in his mouth. No one had done this before. That sensation flowed over my body.
He turned his body to put his dick in my mouth. I pulled back. I was scared to try that. Then I did it. I held him in my mouth, unsure what to do.
I'm not sure if either of us came. Afterwards, we lay in his bed. He said that would have been very hot if a girl had been there. I agreed. We dressed and went to school.
I was in a daze as the school day unfolded around me. The world was normal. I wasn’t. I was full of feelings about Allan and what we had done. We weren’t gay now, were we?
Things settled over time. Allan and I were very close. We loved each other, and said so, along the lines of saying “Ah love yew, man.”
We had sex now and then, always at his initiation, never as often as I wanted.
We were at a party a year later and had to do a beer run. He and I collected bills and change and headed out in my car.
He drove. He wanted to drive. I swallowed my father's admonishment that under no circumstances was anyone other than me to drive my car.
A few beers often turned him sentimental. He grabbed my leg and proclaimed his love for me, his best friend.
I kiss his cheek and told him I loved him.
He changed course and drove to Jamye’s house. We knew the door was unlocked, and no one was home—Jamye and her sister were at the party we just left.
We went upstairs to her room. We undressed and kissed in her bed.
He said he wanted to fuck me. I had never been on either end of anal sex. I said it was okay if I could do him. Deal.
He lubed with Jamye’s hand lotion. I rolled over. He was in me all at once.
I can’t take it, I said. It’s too much, it’s too much.
Relax, he said, fucking me hard. My head was on fire. I couldn’t find a thought in my brain.
After a while, it was my turn. He pulled out. My mind returned to reality.
I lubed up and entered him.
Shit! Man, no, no! I can’t do it!
Relax, I said.
No, he pulled away. You are too damn big! I just can’t.
We took a quick shower. He kissed my cock. I’m sorry man, he said. I just couldn’t take it.
We bought some beer and headed back to the party.
(I would wind up in that bedroom again that night, after the party.
I was licking Jamye’s pussy—she was all of fourteen at this point—when her sister came in and undressed for bed. She told me Michelle was downstairs looking for me, and Jamye needed to go to sleep.
I kissed Jamye good night and went downstairs. Michelle was mad about something that happened at the party. I knew that her anger was primarily a ruse to get my attention. We made amends and she sucked my cock in the living room.)
Allan never really had a girlfriend. As our circle of friends developed in common, and as he gained in confidence about his brains and his beauty, he tended to sleep with whichever girl was into him at the moment.
I always had a girlfriend. Allan slept with pretty much all of them.
Years later, at my wedding reception, Allan congratulated me on finding such a pretty bride. I thanked him, noting that she was the only girlfriend I had that he had not fucked.
He pushed me, laughing. We then realized this was only a slight exaggeration.
Allan finally found pretty bride of his own.
We grew up to be married men, but kissing and loving one another remained a part of our friendship. Everyone knew we loved each other. His mother used to wonder if he would have been happier with me.
In the summer of two-thousand-and-one, I was back home. He drove over from Atlanta to see me. We met for beer in a garden, and talked for hours.
He dropped me off at my parents afterward. We kissed. I pressed into it, taking his tongue in my mouth.
He laughed. “Ah love yew, man,” he said.
“I love you, baby. Always will.”
That was the last time I saw him. Allan died of a sudden heart attack a year later.